Synopses & Reviews
Simon & Schuster's Guide to Plants and Flowers
is the most useful book gardeners can own -- whether they have a few indoor houseplants on the windowsill or endless acres of flowering trees, flowers, and shrubs. Arranged in sixteen sections with convenient alphabetical headings, Simon & Schuster's Guide to Plants and Flowers
characterizes each plant as to place of origin, propagation, flowering season, best soil type, and amount of water and sunlight needed for healthy growth. Included are all kinds of houseplants, shrubs, vines, cacti, roses, lilies, annuals and perennials. There are also sections devoted to plants for balconies and terraces, plants for borders and rock gardens, medicinal and aromatic plants, wildflowers, orchids, succulents, bulbs, herbs, and aquatic plants. Edited by a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, the book has been especially designed for American gardeners, providing accurate descriptions of plants that thrive in various parts of the country -- the Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, and so on. There is no comparable book available on the market today. This is a must for indoor gardeners, outdoor gardeners, and all those who want to learn more about the wonderful world of plants.
a lovely and delicate deciduous fern with many basal fronds; numerous pinnules (small leaves) which are dark green, kidney-shaped, crenulate or lobate on the upper edge. Many distinct varieties once grown hut now largely disappeared.
Use: as an indoor plant, or to decorate walls and recesses and damp, shady rockeries.
Planting: spring. Keep rhizomes near soil surface. For pot use, supply good drainage and a little time.
Propagation: by division and by spores sown on damp peat and sand, covered with glass to maintain humidity.
Environment and light: adequate hut not direct light, with fairly high humidity level. Avoid hot places, move as little as possible. Slight frost injures fronds; severe frost kills.
Type of soil: ordinary garden soil with peat.
Soil moisture: water plentifully during growing season; in winter keep soil moist only.
2 ARALIA misnamed CASTOR-OIL PLANT
Aralia sieboldii (more correctly Fatsia japonica):
Family: Araliaceae. Name adapted from the Japanese name for this plant Fat Si.
Place of origin: Japan; introduced into Europe in 1838.
a slow growing evergreen plant with large, bright green, smooth, shiny leaves with 7 or 9 (rarely 11) pointed, oblong lobes. Flowers on branching panicles in round, milky-white heads, succeeded by round, black, ivy-like berries.
Flowering time: autumn to winter.
Use: where hardy (temperate climates) makes a useful winter flowering shrub. The cream-splashed leaves of the variety variegata make this a good house plant for cool rooms.
Propagation: by cuttings from sucker shoots in spring, or by division.
Environment and light: adequate light indoors but never in direct sun. Half-shade outdoors.
Type of soil: any good garden soil outdoors; loam, peat or leaf mould and sand (equal parts) for pot work.
Soil moisture: water only when required.
Remarks: shorten straggly growths in spring.
3 ASPARAGUS FERN
Asparagus sprengeri (now more correctly A. densiflorus "Sprengeri"):
Family: Liliaceae. Name given by Theophrastus.
Place of origin: Southern Africa; introduced into Europe in 1890.
a woody stemmed plant with long trailing (or widely climbing) branches 2-6 ft. (1-2 m) long, armed with small hooked prickles and small, flat, evergreen phylloclades, mostly in threes and 1-1 1/2 in. (2.5-4 cm) long. Flowers tiny, white or pinkish, fragrant, in racemes. Fruit: bright red 1/2 in. (1 cm) berries.
Flowering time: early summer.
Use: as an indoor plant, especially suitable for hanging baskets.
Propagation: by division in spring or seed.
Environment and light: ample ventilation, plenty of light, but not direct sun.
Type of soil: dry, permeable and rich. If the soil is not sufficiently rich, the branches of the plant will droop. Feed in summer.
Soil moisture: water regularly, more frequently in the summer months.
Remarks: dwarfs and variegated forms occur.
Aspidistra elatior (A. lurida):
Family: Liliaceae. Name from Greek aspidion, a small round shield, referring to shape of stigma.
Place of origin: Central-eastern Asia; introduced 1822.
perennial plants with underground rhizomatic sterns, long and large radical leaves, upright and well stemmed, with complete, leathery, shiny green lamina, narrowing to a channelled stalk one-third the length of the blade. Purple, insignificant flowers close to ground. Also a variegated green and white leafed variety.
Flowering time: seldom;summer.
Use: withstands poor soil and light and considerable neglect, but needs good light for robust health.
Propagation: by division towards the end of autumn.
Environment and light: needs good light, but not sun; without adequate light the leaves become less shiny. Outdoors it grows well in warm, shady places.
Type of soil: ordinary soil with sand and peat, always with a little organic matter.
Soil moisture: water regularly two or three times weekly, and more often in summer.
Copyright © 1974 by Arnoldo Mandadori Editore, Milano
Table of Contents
Indoor flowering plants
Shrubs and bushes
Succulents and cacti
Spring and Summer plants
Lilies, Amaryllis and their like
Roses and the Rose family
Balcony and Terrace plants
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Late blooming plants
Rock garden plants
Water and pool plants